Friday, March 10, 2017

Still Evolving

I’m distancing myself more and more from world and national events. I’m mentally walking away from the hate-filled, contentious declarations and daily exhortations to fear. I’m spending less and less time listening to or watching national news shows. 

I no longer spend time fustigating and fulminating about what I view as inane and senseless editorial opinions in newspapers or on television (which means my usual stream of fairly benign, albeit counter-attack letters and blog posts is down to little more than a trickle) and I don’t give more than a cursory glance to those media espousing beliefs or thoughts with which I do concur. 

In retrospect, this “evolution of thought” has been percolating for some time. However, it increased as I read David McCullough’s book, 1776, which focuses on the events surrounding the start of the American Revolution.

And now, as I read McCullough’s amazing biographical work, John Adams, it is achingly clear to me that, for all the scientific and technical evolution Homines sapientes have achieved, it seems we truly don’t learn from past mistakes--the ratio of greedy, nefarious, self-serving, lying, rapacious and grasping humans appears to hold steady.

Over 160 years ago, French critic, journalist and novelist  Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr observed, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose," or, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Total cynicism hasn’t yet crept into my heart and mind. I am simply focusing even more on those who are dear to me, relishing and reciprocating their love and care. I am more thankful than ever for my home and health. In short, I choose to hold close that which enriches my life; I choose to expend less mental energy in the areas over which I have little or no control.

Interestingly, “Homo sapiens” is from the Latin for “the wise human” or “the clever human.” I’d agree we humans are very clever—but then, so are many other animals. I question whether we are as wise, loving and caring as we have the capacity to be.